Based on #9 in the '100 Reasons to Love You' sentences. And, for those of you who only watch the TV show, I just thought I'd add in Cassie (Wondergirl) and Connor (Superboy) for fun.
Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans (That deserved a Duh)
In my rare moments of complete and outright honesty, I suppose I have to admit I was in pure rage at the moment. Not that anyone could have been able to tell, of course, since I wasn't one to show emotion. Yet, underneath the stoic façade, every event of the past year finally caught up with me. It felt like a tidal wave –all these emotions I was forbidden to feel just rushing over me all in one moment. And, what was even more astonishing was that I acted upon them. These feelings provided an impulse, a rash thought telling me I had to let it out. Of course, my bedroom would be the first place they would look for me when things started going haywire –windows shattering, books flying, cups bursting, it was all the norm for the rare occasions when I lost control.
So, I quickly decided to go to the one place they would never look for me. And, quite frankly, the one place in the tower I had never stepped foot in since its construction nearly seven years ago. But, oh, I still remember my hatred for the place…
My footsteps had echoed in the empty hallways menacingly as I came upon a set of doors. I pulled them open without a second thought as to whether or not they might be ripped off of their hinges. Instantly, the thick humidity and smell of chlorine choked me, yet this was far from what stopped me so suddenly. No, it was the man slicing through the water so effortlessly that stopped me dead in shock. Except for the slightest widening of my eyes, I'm sure I did not look as surprised as I felt. But, though I could mask my emotions, I couldn't stop the blush creeping across my face.
And, try as I might, I couldn't convince myself that it was from the heat in the room –for it most certainly was from the fact that he was half-naked. I desperately wished I could roll my eyes, turn on my heel and disappear from the room. Unfortunately, I seemed to be frozen to the spot.
Breaking through my racing thoughts, he looked up at me, wiping the water off of his face. At first, his expression made me think he was angry with me –yet it quickly dissolved into something between amusement and curiosity as he realized who was staring back at him. In a matter of seconds, he grinned back at me and made his way to the edge of the pool. I knew this was getting bad. This was him, after all –the green chatterbox who never let me leave with my mind at rest. My emotions were already in complete disarray and now he would surely want to speak to me and make it worse.
I mentally prepared myself by imagining the extent of the damage that would surely take place.
"Rae?" He looked up at me, unaware of my embarrassment from the fact had was only half dressed. "Have you actually ever been down here before?"
Of course, everyone seemed to love pointing out my lack of a social life. "Yes." I said stubbornly, and crossed my arms as he gave me a skeptical look. "…Maybe."
The toothy grin I had come to lo-, no, appreciate came back instantly after that. "What are you doing in here?" Obviously, he didn't think I'd come here to take a swim.
I looked into the corner of the room, trying not to snap at him. "Trying to be alone." I managed to say with just a glare.
Beast boy raised an eyebrow and the looked around the room once. After this, he looked down, and after seeing himself he answered. "I don't think you're doing it right."
My lip twitched, yet I tried to hold back the smile. "Apparently." I wasn't about to let him think he was actually funny, not after all these years. It would all go to his head, anyway.
He sighed and rested his chin on his folded arms. "Is there any specific reason you're trying to be alone, or is this just what you do on Tuesdays?" He said it with a sarcastic tone, because I knew he'd never really insult me. Well, not without a good reason –usually given by yours truly.
The tired look in his eyes made me regret choosing this place for my privacy. He was probably just trying to find some peace to serve as a distraction from the current chaos, like me. Oh, right, I had almost forgotten to answer him, being so wrapped up in my thoughts. "Oh, nothing," I said with fake emotion. "Just trying to escape what a pathetic excuse for heroes we've become." It was full of dry humor; the insults, though, I thought, were justified.
My answer seemed to catch his attention. "What?" He asked. Though he knew exactly what I meant, he was probably just shocked that I was the first person to actually acknowledge it.
I ignored the question and sat down upon one of the plastic chairs. It was one of those lounge chairs, the seat made up of strips of horribly uncomfortable plastic. I paid it no mind, for surely my thoughts were giving me such a headache that I couldn't bear to stand for a moment longer.
"…It's not that bad, Rae." He said barely above a whisper.
I winced in frustration at the nickname, though on most days I didn't mind it –still, he was the only one who could get away with calling me that these days and live to see another day. "Yes," I said while glaring at the floor at my feet. "Yes, It is. And you're foolish if you can go by and pretend nothing has changed." I couldn't see him, but I could imagine the hurt look on his face and feel the flood of emotions that I always recognized as his.
I stood up, feeling my heart beat faster from the anger that now flowed through my veins. "There's always tension in the room." My hands trembled and I curled my fingers into fists as I paced back and forth. "And, heaven forbid, if someone mentions Robin's name, then Starfire's left in tears. And somehow Conner and Cassie seem oblivious to everything around here!" Never in my life had I used this much emotion in one conversation –or hand gestures, for that matter.
"Between Star's grief and Vic confusion and your pain…" I paused, forgetting how much he had tried to hide that last fact from everyone. "… I think I'm losing my mind."
I sunk down onto the chair again, resting my forehead in my palm. It seemed that he was always able to do that to me –get me to talk so much to the point where I couldn't seem to stop. "You know, Cyborg really might be leaving. Mostly, he's just confused about his decision, but he's had it, too… and without a leader, the Titans may as well be finished."
I looked up at him as he spoke. "I'll volunteer!" He said with a cheery smile, once again covering up his worries and pain with humor. After a moment of my unimpressed stare, he put his hands up in defeat. "Hey, it was just a joke."
"It shouldn't have to be." I answered, looking back down at my feet. "We shouldn't be like this. Superboy and Wondergirl shouldn't have joined just to replace Robin. And Robin shouldn't have left in the first place!" The plastic tables on the other side of the room were thrown violently back against the wall. I didn't even want to think about what other damage the Tower was suffering through right now. "And we shouldn't be falling apart."
A few moments passed where the only noise was the tiny drip of water falling from his shaggy green hair onto the concrete floor. Meanwhile, I took deep breathes, trying not to break anything. I knew quite well that I shouldn't even be down there, and that I should've been meditating, keeping my powers in check. Quite frankly, I didn't really care at that moment. But, I snapped back into reality when I felt a cold emotion fill the room. Beast boy's jealously. Honestly, he still acted so much like a teenager. What did he have to be jealous of? Especially from Robin? After all, even if I could read his emotions, I could never see the reason behind them.
"…You miss him." It wasn't a question. And I think that fact was what put some things into perspective for me.
I stared straight back at him and answered in all honesty. "Not terribly, to tell you the truth. But leaving was part of the reason the team's growing apart." That seemed to dissipate that foolish emotion of his.
He ran a hand through his hair and gave me a questioning look. "You think that's only part of the reason?"
I looked at him as if he was missing some big point. "Beast boy, we're hardly teenagers anymore."
"So?" He retorted quickly, an annoyed look on his face. "What are you and me? 25? 24?"
I leaned forward a bit to return the look. "Vic is almost 29."
"Ugh!" He exclaimed loudly, the sound echoing off the walls. "So buy him some oil for Christmas, he'll be good as new!"
It amazed me how he could make a joke right in the middle of an argument. "You're… infuriating! Do you know that?" I shouted at him, the chairs to my left cracking slightly.
"Well, excuse me for being the only one trying to keep this team together!"
"Please!" I answered, standing to my feet once more. "You're swimming laps, how is that helping when you're in here all day?"
He didn't reply, but only glared at me as he got his breathing back under control. Of course, I realized my insult had no truth to it. He really was the only one trying to keep us from falling apart and going our separate ways. And here I was, ignoring all his attempts and complaining about how terrible things were. Some friend I was.
I let out the breath I had been holding in, and looked down at my feet as my cloak fell around my shoulders. I had to admit, my mind seemed more at peace now that I had a chance to vent all my emotions, but I couldn't feel good if it was at the expense of his feelings.
He looked up at me for a moment and his expression softened when he really got a look at my face, though it was partially concealed by the shadows of my hood. Looking away from me, he placed his hand back into the water and brought it up over his shoulders. He was obviously getting cold standing there, arguing with me. "So… You're leaving, too, then?" At least this was an actual question, not just something he assumed.
I glanced back at him, the small bit of hope he felt sweeping over me. How could I complain about things like this, when deep down, I knew I didn't want to leave? I couldn't. I really couldn't see myself doing anything else, being anywhere else. And then there was Beast boy. Sure, we had our arguments, but I couldn't help but harbor a small hidden claim on him. He was my safety-net, as I sometimes would put it. When things got really bad, I could always count on him to try and get a smile on my face. His attempts were usually quite amusing.
Still, after these years, he meant so much to me. I honestly couldn't imagine being without him.
Unfortunately, he mistook my silence for an answer. "…I get it." He said, unable to look me in the eye anymore. "I thought you might leave when Vic does… guess I was right."
I rolled my eyes as I pulled my hood down. "I'm not leaving, Beast boy." I said simply.
His ears perked up at that. "Really?"
"Really." I said. "After all, I don't think I'd blend in modern society anyway." I finished this with a smirk.
He smiled my favorite smile, the one that filled the room with authentic happiness. He then looked at me sheepishly, like he did when we were only teenagers, and scratched the back of his head. "Sweet." He gave a nervous laugh, though I couldn't imagine why. Suddenly, his face was overcome by a look of playful seriousness. "You have to swear it."
I gave a disapproving look as he held out a hand to me. I continued to look down at him, yet he remained persistent. Finally, I did not see what the big deal was about my answer, but as long as he believed me I didn't really care. The moment our hands met, though, the previously hidden emotion of amusement shot through me. And, in that instant, I realized what he was about to do.
Of course, my mind didn't process the common sense to pull my hand away fast enough, for the next thing I knew, my feet left the ground and I had a mouthful of water.
He was dead. Boy, was he dead.
My head broke the surface shortly after and I took in a sweet mouthful of air. I began to shiver, my body not yet used to the temperature of the water. All the while, I could hear his childish laughter ringing in my ears. I tried to catch my balance on the bottom of the pool and plan how to kill him quickly at the same time. Yet, the oddest thing occurred –I felt no anger. None at all. Usually, I had to suppress it, or easily dissolve it with meditation. But… it was just gone. I was left there, confused and flustered, not knowing what I was supposed to be feeling at the moment.
I looked across the chilling water to where he was floating effortlessly with a sly grin on his face. My dripping purple hair fell in front of my eyes pathetically, and I threw a glare his way, though I couldn't get it to look as menacing as I had hoped. The moment I looked away from him, I felt the blood rush to my cheeks and –yep, there was the anger. Though, surprisingly, it wasn't directed at him. Only at myself for being tricked by him. Again.
"Ah, Rae," I heard him moving in the water towards me. "Come on. You can take a joke, right?"
I grabbed the side of the pool, hoping Vic wouldn't get mad at me for leaving nail marks in the concrete. I shut my eyes tight, hoping I wasn't about to have a murder on my hands, and took another deep breath. His laugh turned to a nervous chuckle when I pulled myself out of the water, leaving him unscathed.
Glaring at the floor, I realized my boots were filled with the horrible substance. Water dripped down off of my cloak as I made my lame reply. "S- Sure. A joke. Hilarious." My monotone and sarcasm fit nicely together. I grabbed a towel off one of the fortunate tables that hadn't suffered any damage yet. As I walked briskly to the door, I wrapped it around my shoulders. Yet, he was walking behind me before I even knew it, though I hadn't heard him get out of the water.
He regretted pulling me in, I knew. It was easy enough to tell that from his emotions, yet, as usual, he caught me off guard. Before I had time for even one insult, his arm was around my waist, and I was pulled down onto one of the lounge chairs. He sat down next to me, and moved his arm around my shoulders. I gave him a cynical glare, but I postponed his death for now. At least he wasn't just going to let me go while I was furious at him, too. I suppose it proved he had some small bit of maturity.
Beast boy pushed the hair out of his eyes and grinned at me. "Mind sitting with me?" No nickname. He obviously wasn't going to push his luck.
I rolled my eyes. "Not if you put a shirt on."
He laughed, and it echoed off the walls and almost brought a smile to my face. Almost, being the key word there. He looked away and grabbed a brown t-shirt off of the same table, slipping it on quickly. "Happy?" He asked, placing his arm around me again.
"I thought I didn't do happy, remember?"
Again, that stupid laugh of his filled the room. His shining eyes looked down at me for a moment, before he sighed and leaned his head against the back of the chair. Of course, I quickly grew uncomfortable. Knowing our luck, this would be the time someone would choose to walk in. But, it would be just like me to shove him away and leave before he could stop me. Then again, maybe I didn't want to be the cold witch everyone assumed me to be. Maybe.
"Thanks for letting me vent." I said, risking a quick look at him.
He grinned, the sharp tooth always visible gleaming in the light. "No problem." He then shifted his head to look at me. I tried to hold back various oaths that sounded in my thoughts. I hated it when he looked at me. Didn't he realize that kind of connection only made me feel more of his emotions? They were hard enough to handle in the first place. "Hey, Rae?"
Again, that nickname came up. I ignored it for the time being.
"If… I asked you a question, would you promise me an answer?" His eyes looked hopeful.
Obviously, this wouldn't be an easy question. I should've told him it would depend on the question. Yet, some feeling told me to be decent to him for once. Maybe I wanted to be nice… maybe I wanted to be close with him again. To be friends. "Fine."
He smiled again, and his happiness flooded over me. The emotion made me want to smile –laugh, for no particular reason. "Okay…" He looked off into space, but the fact he wouldn't look me in the eyes worried me a bit. "Um, so, what- how…"
I rolled my eyes. "Just spit it out already." Anything to get it over with.
"How do you really feel about Robin?"
My mind didn't understand the question for a moment. He caught me off guard, which was, in itself, a notable feat. "What?" I asked, completely confused at his question.
He mumbled something, and my ears barely caught it. "…you heard me."
My mouth opened to say something, but I shut it quickly. Did I really have an answer for him? And then, at that moment, I realized why he had asked. Why he had been jealous earlier. "You think… I …" I really hated to use the word. "… love him?"
"It was…" He looked really uncomfortable. "-just a question."
I came up with my answer pretty quickly after that. Of course, I wanted to toy with his thoughts, just a little bit first.
"Yep." I stated simply.
His head whipped around to look me straight in the eye. Years of practice kept my face devoid of emotion. "He's family. Of course I'd love him. -All of the Titans are. No matter how annoying they get." I smiled just slightly, letting him calm down a bit.
"Oh." His cheeks turned red, and I could easily feel his embarrassment. "So… you think of all of us as family?"
I nodded, knowing he was making himself completely sure I wasn't in love with our past leader. "Yes," I wanted him to be sure, though I didn't really know why. "He's like an older brother to me. And Star, like a sister."
He raised an eyebrow at me, and then continued the questioning. "Cy?"
I glanced away thoughtfully for a moment before looking back at him. "Maybe a step-brother who's a little too cool for his own good." Somehow, I couldn't get the smile off of my face.
"Cassie and Connor?"
"I don't know…" I sighed. "Annoying cousins?"
No longer would I deny it –I was in love with that smile of his. He gave a small laugh and then removed his arm from around my shoulders. The cold air hit me immediately, but I didn't let it show. Meanwhile, he brushed his thumb against his nose and then crossed his arms. I could see the water on his face glistening in the distorted light coming from the surface of the pool. I also knew I should've have been paying the close attention to his face.
He cleared his throat and then kept his gaze on the brown wall on the other side of the room. "So… what about me?"
I was kind of hoping he had forgotten, for I knew my answer, but I also knew his reaction to that answer was… important. It would either make things terribly uncomfortable… or… I couldn't even fathom the other possibility. It just didn't seem realistic. So, I decided to downplay it a bit. Just for the sake of my own embarrassment.
"You?" He nodded, yet I paused until he looked at me. I knew I had to say this to his face. "I suppose you're like a cousin… that I shouldn't have funny feelings for."
There. I had said it, and I couldn't take it back. I waited for an answer but instead, he only grinned, his eyes shining. He wrapped an arm around my shoulders again and pulled me close. "I'll settle for that." He leaned his head on mine, so I couldn't get a good look of his laughing face. Though, I could at least feel the emotion of affection fill the room. Luckily, he had stopped trying to hide the emotion that was not only mine, but his also.
"For now." He added.
I smiled –truly smiled and surprisingly did not grow uncomfortable this close to him. He was warm, and for once, not going to ruin the moment by shouting 'I knew it' or something of the like.
"You still owe me for the pool thing." I said, remembering the fact I was still sopping wet.
"Yeah, I know." He chuckled. "I'll make it up to you."
With a silent sigh, I closed my eyes, unable to find a reason to hate what was going on in the Tower. Who knew I would actually benefit from my anger one day?
"You'd better." I warned, the smile still playing on my lips. "Maybe you should let me give you a nickname."
He laughed once more, and my smile only grew. "And what would you like to call me? I dare to ask…"
"Hmmm…" I gave it a quick thought, resisting the temptation to call him by his real name. "How about Gar?"
I didn't get to see his face, but the current emotion in the room only swelled. "I hope it sticks, before I change my mind." Love of sarcasm –something we truly had in common.
"Wouldn't matter if you did." I mumbled. "I'd still call you that."
"I'm sure you would."
After this, I didn't want to talk anymore. I didn't want to wake up from what was sure to be a dream. After all, it just didn't seem real. But that was okay with me… for now.
Oh, man, that sucked. Please review anyway, you kind souls…